In-body vibration reduction (VR) is one of the features that sets Nikon’s Z mirrorless cameras apart from its DSLRs — but VR is also the reason some users will have to send those camera bodies back. On Thursday, May 16, Nikon issued a service advisory for batches of the Z 6 and Z 7 because of faulty VR systems.
Nikon will repair the affected models free of charge, including covering shipping costs to bring the cameras’ stabilization systems up to par. The company didn’t indicate how long the repairs would take or exactly what the issue with the VR system is. The repairs will be available regardless of the camera’s warranty status (though Nikon’s one year warranty should still be valid since the Z 6 and Z 7 are still less than a year old).
“While Nikon has taken great measures to assure the high quality expected of Nikon products, it has come to our attention that the vibration reduction (VR) feature in some Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 cameras may not function fully. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused,” the service advisory reads.
The service advisory only affects some batches of the Z 6 and Z 7 camera bodies — current users should check the serial number of the camera to see if the camera is part of the batch with VR issues. The serial number on both the Z 6 and Z 7 is located behind the tilting LCD screen as a seven-digit number next to the small QR code. (Check the serial number on the Z 6 here or on the Z 7 from this link.)
The in-body stabilization on the Z 6 and Z 7 sets the mirrorless series apart from the company’s DSLR bodies, which use a lens-based stabilization instead. That allows the camera system to use slower shutter speeds with stationary subjects regardless of which killer Nikon lens is attached, while bringing stabilization to FX lenses that don’t have the feature built in. The mirrorless cameras also offer a faster burst speed in some cases, along with a lighter build, though Nikon’s DSLRs still dominate features like low-light autofocus and dual memory card slots.
The Z 6 and Z 7 aren’t the first Nikon cameras to be recalled for repairs — some batches of the Nikon D750 DSLR were recalled for a manufacturing defect on the camera’s shutter, for example.